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Current Service Learning Partner

This page features the current Service Learning Community Partner of the semester and holds updated information on their mission and activities

project Optimism

Background

Project Optimism is a nonprofit organization founded by Armoni Easley and Ishmael Pruiit; this organization works to embed an optimistic mindset into their community members in order for them to be productive contributors to society. They focus on assisting the community through three main initiatives: community engagement, events for a cause, and youth mentorship programs. To promote community engagement, Project Optimism brings volunteers to community events in the areas that they work nearby, with volunteer opportunities varying from helping the homeless, developing workshops, toy drives, and more. To raise funds for supporting the community around them, Project Optimism hosts Positive Images Events for a Cause, including events to help nonprofits, schools, college scholarships, people fighting illnesses, and more. Project Optimism also holds youth mentorship programs, which work with 4th through 12th-grade students. These programs have mentors that provide community members with the support and advice they need to succeed in their future. The ultimate goal of these programs is to inspire productive contributing members to society by allowing individuals to communicate with college students that would be able to understand their background and encourage them not to be restrained to their situations. We served with our community partner by creating workshops to educate middle and high school students and short challenge videos to encourage others to take positive action. Through the experience, we learned essential skills needed for teamwork, collaboration, and positive interaction with communities.

As COVID has made most services and events online, this year CNU is contributing to Project Optimism from a more distant medium. This year students are working on individual projects that relate to Project Optimism and its goals. This includes making podcasts, blog posts, and fundraising opportunities to help support and inform about the various events and projects Project Optimism is working on. As the year goes on, we hope to be able to join their tutoring program and work directly with students. 

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Student Contributions

Students that have worked with Project Optimism in the past have contributed to the nonprofit in a variety of ways. These include participating in charity fundraising events that can further the education of students within the community and directly working with the students themselves. A large part of Project Optimism lies in promoting education within the community and helping sustain interest in academia into the foreseeable future. To that end, CNU students have engaged with and tutored students within the community and helped maintain that interest through interactive education.